There's no shortage of benefits for companies that decide to adopt a subscription business model: lower customer acquisition costs, better customer retention, and a more predictable revenue revenue stream, just to name a few. 

But even after you’ve decided to focus on a recurring revenue model, the game's not over. To keep revenue flowing, you’ll need to regularly invoice customers, configure new pricing plans, collect payment, comply with local tax regulations, and manage churn. And, of course, keep everything organized in one place.

Most businesses quickly realize that a bunch of spreadsheets aren’t enough to manage all these tasks and recognize they need a comprehensive subscription billing and management platform. The question becomes: should you buy an off-the-shelf subscription billing and management solution and customize it for your needs, or try to build your own?

The truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. Every company has a different set of resources and requirements. Ultimately, though, the decision to build or buy boils down to a few factors:

  • Time and money: How much time do you have (that is, how urgent is your need for a solution that just works), and how many resources can you afford to allocate? Building the solution is just the beginning, as you then have to invest time in maintaining it and adding new functionality as your business needs change. Investing in an off-the-shelf solution generally turns out to be cheaper  in the long run than building software in-house.

  • Future plans: What do your company’s growth and expansion plans look like? Will your business expand to new markets that may have different currency, tax, and data compliance requirements? Does experimenting with different pricing strategies matter to you? Do you need a solution that will scale with your business?

  • Contingency measures: If things go wrong (say a gateway fails, customers start churning at a high rate, or instances of fraud increase), how will you mitigate these issues?

  • Current business trajectory: Is recurring billing a concrete business strategy moving forward, or is it something you’re just testing out and may not commit to? It makes sense to make the investment in a subscription billing platform (whether you build it or buy it) only if you’re committed to subscription billing for the long term.

There’s a lot to consider, and no matter which way you go, it’s important to lay everything out on the table. To help you make a decision and put you on the right path, we’ve put together a comprehensive checklist for building your own subscription management platform. 

No matter which team you sit on — customer success, product management, security, finance, IT or accounting — you’ll find valuable information in this checklist, including:

  • What kinds of features an account management portal and checkout page must include for a subscriber-friendly experience

  • What’s required under the GDPR, CCPA, and other regional data privacy laws, as well as other regulations and requirements, such as PSD2 and PCI

  • How different integrations can supercharge your recurring billing by helping you keep customer payment information, revenue data, and more all in one place

Set your subscription business up for success. Download our checklist today and get on your way to recurring billing nirvana.